I’ve been fighting with myself over the topic of my next post, which is why this is the first one this week. A few things have gone on that make me feel the topic of fighting and forgiving would be best.
To be truthful, this post is being written specifically for one of “my” youth. A very odd and unnecessary thing has connected us and has brought up many different feelings and reactions for both of us.
I remember being in middle school and high school. Most of our arguments revolved around a guy or something silly like that. It was so easy for us to just get mad and stay mad. Looking back, all I can think is, “How insane were we?!” Even as an adult, I’ve had some arguments/fights with my friends that have made me think, “What the heck?” One argument in particular comes to mind. I never saw it coming, either. It just slapped me in the face one day. It all started with a Facebook post and grew from there. The result of this fight was the loss of my best friend, Kayla, for 3 years. (Me on left. Kayla on right.)
This was taken in 2009 at a family reunion. We aren’t blood related, but we are family just the same. We’ve actually had 2 fairly large fights. One caused absences at her wedding and at the birth of my son. The other caused us to not have the one shoulder we both needed through death, divorce, a birth, a miscarriage, and life in general. Both of those fights were over the DUMBEST things. It wasn’t until both of us started praying and searching (as we should have been doing from the start) that somehow God would heal the situation. After about 2 months of each of us praying, we were able to talk through it and work past it.
See, we alone don’t have the power to fully forgive, but with Christ, we can do anything. During the time of both of those fights, I wasn’t looking for God. I wasn’t living for Him. I wasn’t living as a follower of Christ should. I was running the complete opposite way.
Romans 12:9-21 speaks of love. It says to “never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer…. Live in harmony with one another…. Do not repay anyone evil for evil…. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord…. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Pretty self-explanatory, don’t you think? “If it is possible, AS FAR AS IT DEPENDS ON YOU, live at peace with everyone.” Do what YOU can to keep the peace. Don’t always expect the other person to do it and don’t be at odds with them just because they have made you mad. Instead, be good to them. Be kind and courteous. As I’ve said many times, as Christians, we are called to live in Christ. That is to say, we are to live AS Christ.
Acts 20:28 calls us to “Be shepherds of the church of God.” Bring people in. Don’t push them away. One of the main criticisms I hear of the church is that we are hypocrites. Everyone knows we are called to love and be accepting, but they see us shunning and excluding. When we were fighting, neither Kayla nor I were being shepherds. If anything, we were both lions…. pulling each other further and further away from what we are called to be.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 says, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” How did Jesus respond to those who challenged him? He loved them and had patience with them. We are to respond to them in the same way. Our old selves died when we accepted Him into our hearts and lives.
I hope these few verses help a little. There were so many I wanted to use, but I didn’t want this to be such a super long post. This life is short, and although the next is eternal, we should still live this one giving as much glory to God as we can and showing Him to as many people as we can through our words and actions.
(Originally posted on my old blog on December 11, 2013)